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Jumbo Package: Sportswriters cry for expanded playoff in response to TV ratings

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. In news that surprises no one, it is now official that Evan Neal, Jameson Williams and Phidarian Mathis are headed to the NFL Draft. There is no reason for any of them to return for another year of football. Go get that dollar, men.

Matt Hayes is out here stumping for an expanded playoff because the TV ratings stunk for the title game.

“If this doesn’t rattle some cages, I don’t know what will,” an industry source told me this week. “The (expanded) Playoff has to get done for the health of the game. This is no longer about egos.”

I’d love to know from which region of the country that “industry source” hails.

In any case, Hayes is hardly alone in pining for expansion. My position on this has been stated. Expanded playoffs further diminishing the bowls won’t help TV ratings as much as enhancing the bowls would in a plus one format, but we are screaming into the void. #MakeBowlGamesGreatAgain.

Jaylen Moody and Shane Lee entered the transfer portal.

Moody was a senior this past season who has an additional year of eligibility remaining because of the NCAA’s COVID-19 waiver. He played extensively on special teams the past four seasons for Alabama while seeing limited playing time on defense.

Moody and freshman Deontae Lawson were listed as the backups on the depth chart at inside linebacker. Lawson is joined by Ian Jackson, Kendrick Blackshire, Demouy Kennedy and incoming freshman Shawn Murphy as the Tide’s options at the position if Harris or To’o To’o leaves.

Lee is no surprise since he’s seen his role all but disappear since the 2019 season, and Moody isn’t terribly surprising. I was surprised that Jaylen didn’t get a look when Henry To’o To’o was struggling earlier in the season while playing with one arm.

Matt Wyatt has an excellent piece on the drops that cost Alabama. Bryce Young should have had about 450 yards and 2-3 more TDs, that would have undoubtedly resulted in a championship and MVP award. Worse, had Ja’Corey Brooks managed to bring in his ball along the sideline with just over a minute to play, the game clinching pick six never happens. This is a nine minute watch and well worth your time.

We will never know why Alabama didn’t have a freshman WR on the level of Julio or Amari or Calvin or Jerry or Henry or DeVonta after signing four of the top 15 in the 2021 class, but they simply did not and it showed up big when Metchie and Williams went down. Meanwhile Georgia’s freshman WR made his tough TD grab on a 50/50 underthrown arm punt. Bryce took the blame after the game because he’s a leader, but he knows the score. Earlier in the season he was bothered by the blitz, but he has clearly developed in that area and is going to be terrifying for defenses in 2022.

John Talty examines which SEC coach is most likely to win a national championship. Jimbo Fisher would be the obvious answer, but he is excluded here because he has one.

1) Brian Kelly, LSU

Kelly walks into one of the best situations in the country and has already proven he can get a team to the national championship game. The last three LSU head coaches have all won national championships, and Kelly is a better coach than two of them. As long as Kelly recruits at a high level in Baton Rouge, he has the best and most realistic chance to join the club.

I guess this is the only logical choice among the rest, but I’ll see it when I believe it. He isn’t exactly off to a roaring start.

Greg McElroy responded to Kayvon Thibodeaux’s idiotic remarks about the value of a degree from Alabama.

“I just take real personal offense, man,” McElroy said Thursday. “I genuinely do. I don’t care. Don’t come. If you think so little of us, don’t come. Fine by me, because I know the people that live in this state. I chose Alabama, because I love Alabama. ... If you don’t want to see Alabama for the greatness it can potentially provide you, it’s on you. You’re missing out.”

Look, Kayvon thought he could get Oregon to the playoffs and he didn’t. He regrets not getting to play on that stage so he’s rationalizing. I’m not going to roast him too badly for that.

But dude, if you are going to call someone else stupid, at least learn the word “stigma.” All he’s done here is expose himself as a half-lit who is more committed to his own brand than he is to winning football, right before he’s hoping to be picked high by NFL teams to help them win at football.

Give Joel Klatt credit for at least acknowledging after the fact that he should have challenged Thibodeaux more.

Last, imagine saying this to your young QB.

Way to instill confidence, Coach. Can’t imagine why you got canned.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.